OF SENIOR PETS
1931–2021: CELEB RATING
SUMMER 2021 | VOL . 33 | NO. 1
YEARS OF COMPASSION p.16
N O R T H B AY P E T S
from the Executive Director
IF THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF HAS
it is how an animal likely feels when it enters a shelter environment: trapped, lonely, scared, unsure of their future. We (humans) were confined to our homes and lost our social interactions… our connections. Our “routines” were blown to smithereens, and we awoke each day not sure what to expect or how we were supposed to react to what was presented to us. This last year has challenged even those of us who self-proclaim to “like change.” As the leader of this organization, I cannot wait to see our staff, volunteers, customers, 4-legged guests, and my own family find the new normal, human contact and more. TAU G H T M E A N YT H I N G ,
As we begin to emerge from this experience and explore our surroundings with fewer restrictions, the tension is palpable. Every human AND animal has the innate need for mental and physical connection. Hugs and smiles, very basic expressions of compassion and care, were taken from us just like the human touch and connection are typically taken from animals when they enter a shelter. This is why the Humane Society strives to provide the animals who come
to us some form of connectedness during their stay — it’s crucial to their wellbeing and their quality of life on their journey to a forever home. During our yearlong journey we discovered that our focus on the animals represents only a small part of what we do. Our adoptions by appointment created deeper connections and better matches and allowed our counselors to create relationships with adopters that exceeded expectations on both sides! Our Community Veterinary Hospital and low cost Spay/Neuter Clinic continue to experience increased demands for services where we assist humans as much as we help their animals. Through it all, we are so grateful for your support which has enabled us to rise up and adapt. I could not be prouder of our staff, volunteers, and donors for exemplifying the Humane Society’s mission and providing the crucial safety net of programs to our community. If you are lucky enough to meet one of these heroes at a point where a hug or a handshake can be had, I urge you to go for it. At the very least, flash them your amazing smile! You have the power to re-fill their compassion tank and, at the same time, fill your own. Thank you for the support and care you give your community by ensuring the Humane Society of Sonoma County’s programs continue to thrive.
For the LOVE of Senior Pets . . . . . . p 4 Happy Tails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 6 News from Healdsburg . . . . . . . . . . p 8 The Comforts of Home. . . . . . . . . . . p 9 CVC Community-Minded, Sustainability-Focused . . . . . . . . . p 10 2020 Annual Report. . . . . . . . . . . . . p 11 Why Spay/Neuter Feels All Warm and Fuzzy. . . . . . . . . . . . . p 15 HSSC’s 90th Anniversary. . . . . . . . . p 16 A Salute to Our Humane Heroes . . p 18 Drop-Off Puppy Play: Progressing At a Pup’s Own Pace. . . . . . . . . . . . p 19 That’s the POWER of LOVE . . . . . . . p 19 Founder’s Society Gifts . . . . . . . . . . p 20 Creativity Inspired by Crisis . . . . . . p 23 Bequests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 23
The Humane Society of Sonoma County — ensuring every animal receives protection, compassion, love and care. We are a locally-founded, locally-funded nonprofit organization supported through donations from our community. TAX I D # 9 4 - 6 0 01 3 1 5
North Bay Pets is a publication of the Humane Society of Sonoma County.
Content Writer/Editor Signe Ross-Villemaire
Contributors Sonia Benson Julie Compton Katie McHugh Kathy Pecsar
Senior Designer Sarah Lenz
Contributing Photographers Julie Compton Karrie Stewart Michelle Teruel
Cover Photograph ©2021 Chris Kittredge
On The Cover
WENDY WELLING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
What sets HSSC apart from other shelters in our capacity to care for senior animals? Our ability to provide specialized veterinary care on the path to adoption. Your support helped us give cover model Fred Rodgers the medical support needed to manage age-related chronic conditions… and to find a forever home! Read more about second chances for seniors on pg. 4!
N O R T H B AY P E T S
OF SENIOR PETS
“Senior pets are special because you can tell they’ve been through a lot. Look into their eyes and know that they may have had multiple homes, or maybe one home that they can no longer be in, and people they will never see again. They have stories they can never tell us. They want and need a stable place to spend their golden years and our donors, fosters and adopters make that possible.” — KA R R I E ST EWA RT, H S S C H E A L D S B U R G S H E LT E R M A N A G E R Fred Rogers with foster mom Stacey. Photo by Chris Kittredge.
FRED RODGERS Fred Rodgers greets you with warm brown eyes and a grey-muzzled smile that reveals teeth worn down to nibs. When he leans into you for pets, you notice the skin on his elbows is tough and patchy, and that his body bears a constellation Fred Rogers in his sweater. of small scars. He’s wearing a cable-knit sweater like the most distinguished of grandpas and taking him for a walk is like walking a small ox — his strength supersedes his age-related creakiness! These are just some of the reasons we love Fred. Like so many of the senior pets we take in, Fred arrived at the shelter a little worn around the edges, yet with so much love to give. And like many older animals, he has required a little extra TLC as we help get him to the next leg of his journey. During his intake exam, our veterinary team noted that Fred was shaking his head persistently and limped arthritically when he walked. They estimated his age to be about 12 years. His ears were inflamed and quite painful, and there was evidence of old hematomas. Not surprisingly, a cytology test showed he had advanced bacterial infection in both ears. He was sensitive about having his front legs touched and his hind leg muscles seemed atrophied. Radiographs of one of his legs 4
suggested a previous injury. Our team created a plan to treat his ears and help him feel more comfortable. Over the next couple of weeks, our veterinarians monitored his progress to see how he responded to ear meds, joint supplements and NSAIDs. While out on gentle walks with Fred, our staff and volunteers began to notice he seemed more comfortable. As we got to know him, he showed us he was the type of dog who was just looking for a quiet home where he could be pampered with snuggly naps, easy walks and lots of love. We placed him with Stacey, one of our amazing foster volunteers, who has worked very closely with our shelter medical team to help manage his chronic ear infection and keep his arthritis under control. Fred has been happy to soak up all the love Stacey could give until we could find him a forever home. As it turns out, Fred has been home all along. Just as this article was going to print, Stacey called to let us know she wanted to adopt him!
BEGIN AGAIN Older pets often come to us without a lot of historical information, like Fred Rodgers did, from overcrowded shelters that don’t have the resources to address the unique needs of seniors. Others have enjoyed years with families who love them, but come to us when home circumstances change. “We see a higher number of senior pet surrenders than younger pets,” explains HSSC Admissions Program Manager, Anna Harrison. “This is due to the fact that many pets outlive their owners’ ability to care for them. Many come to us after their owner has passed away or has moved into a care facility that isn’t able to accommodate pets.” Still others arrive as strays, like Magneta. (right)
N O R T H B AY P E T S
“I think it says a lot about senior cats, that they’re the ones many of our volunteers and staff tend to fall the hardest for. I always have the most conversations with the cat volunteers about our seniors, and they’re always gushing about how wonderful they are. If an older cat can inspire that much love in people who are constantly around kittens and younger cats, it lets you know how special they truly are.” —SAFFRON WILLIAMS, HSSC F E L I N E B E H AVI O R PR O G R A M M A N AG E R
As with every animal in our care, a senior’s journey to adoption starts with a stop in our shelter hospital for a health exam. Dr. Lisa Labrecque, HSSC’s Director of Veterinary Services, explains what she and her team are looking for: “Animals ages eight and up receive a comprehensive senior blood panel including thyroid levels and urinalysis. If we find abnormalities, we’ll pursue additional diagnostics. If a heart murmur is heard, we will take chest x-rays to screen for heart disease.” Seniors are also evaluated for dental disease — the most severe cases require dental procedures prior to adoption. “We might make animals with less severe dental disease available if they’re not in pain and there’s no evidence of infection, Jade and Leenda on their way home with Magneta. and then have them return for dental work later,” says Dr. Labrecque. X-rays are performed to evaluate orthopedic issues, especially when the animal presents with a limp, like Fred. “This helps guide our veterinary team to determine which treatments will be of most benefit.”
M A G N I F I C E N T M A G N E TA Magneta came to us as a stray in rough shape. She was thin, dehydrated and had sunken eyes. She was also wheezing and congested. We scanned her microchip and found out that she was at least 18 years old! Unfortunately, we were not able to find her owners so we moved forward with trying to find her a new home to spend her retirement days. Our shelter medical team administered fluids and antibiotics to help get her on the path to healing. During her medical work up, Magneta was diagnosed with and began treatment for four chronic medical conditions — kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, chronic rhinitis and high blood pressure. By the time of her re-check exam, Magneta was feeling much better — she was bright-eyed, sweet and purring. She even started to show us her playful side! However, her respiratory issues persisted and we discovered that she was something of a social eater. She seemed to have a good appetite when she was being pet! We placed her with one of our catsavvy fosters so she could be doted on until her forever family came along. Enter angel adopters Jade and Leenda. After talking over Magneta’s conditions with our veterinarians, they decided they were the ones to give her a home where her every need could be looked after for the rest of her days. We wish Magneta and her family a wonderful life together!
What sets us apart from other shelters in being able to provide second chances for seniors like Fred and Magneta? In addition to our incredible foster volunteers who help expand our capacity for care, “HSSC is fortunate to have a strong medical department with four veterinarians on staff, each with different areas of expertise,” says Dr. Labrecque. “Whether it’s internal medicine, dermatology, cardiology, orthopedics or dentistry, our DVMs love to put their experience to work helping senior pets.” This is all thanks to YOU! Because of your support we are able to offer a high standard of care for older pets, helping them live their healthiest lives and — best of all — adopting them into homes where their grey muzzles and silver whiskers will be loved and cherished. Your compassionate contributions to our Angels Fund directly help homeless animals who need medical care on their path home. To make your gift, please visit humanesocietysoco.org/donate and select Angels Fund from the drop-down menu. Thank you for making our lifesaving work possible! Magneta: the beauty of a senior cat.
N O R T H B AY P E T S
P E P E L E P E W ( now PR I N C E S S PE PI TA ) Pepe Le Pew and her two siblings arrived at our shelter last year in rough shape. We treated all three kittens for common health issues but, while the others improved, Pepe did not. After reviewing her radiographs and consulting with specialists, we diagnosed Pepe with Vascular Ring Anomaly — a congenital condition that was restricting her esophagus and making it hard for her to keep food down. We placed her with one of our dedicated foster volunteers while Dr. Labrecque, our Director of Veterinary Services, found a surgeon at U.C. Davis who could perform a special corrective surgery. We are pleased to report that Pepe pulled through and became the CUTEST foster fail! Her foster/forever mom Sharon sent us the following update: “Princess Pepita is a love. She always wants to be with me and loves to be pet. At night she curls up alongside me and lets me wrap my arm around her cuddly body. I love her. After what she went through, it’s great to see her thrive.”
R Y K E R ( now R Y D E R )
C H E L S E A ( now N A P A )
Ryker was found as a stray dog roaming the streets of Bakersfield and came to us through our ASPCA Closer to Home partnership. Despite coming in as a stray after living on the streets, we knew this handsome boy with his puppy-like antics would find his forever home in no time. The calls of interested adopters poured in. When Davin gave us a call inquiring about Ryker, we knew we had found a perfect match!
This adorable little mini lop came to us from our friends at Sonoma County Animal Services. It didn’t take long for this cutie to find her forever home with a family that just adores her!
Davin tells us, “Ryder is a great addition to our family. He still has that strong puppy energy and a love of play and activity. He’s become a frequent guest at the Sebastopol dog park and really, really enjoys his weekly trips there. So many friends he has made! He is fantastic with dogs of all sizes. We are excited to start training sessions now that Covid restrictions are loosening up!”
Her family tells us, “Since adopting her, we changed her name to Napa (like the cabbage) and she never fails to surprise us. The minute we brought her home, she hopped right out of the carrier and began to explore. She is an excellent companion and eats so well — who knew such a tiny body could hold so much food! She has met our family and friends with no trouble at all — she warms right up to everybody. She brings a lot of joy into our lives. Just coming home to see her sitting at the edge of the room brings a smile to my face every time.”
N O R T H B AY P E T S
HEF & BUNNY
D U L C E ( now C L O V E R )
Hef and Bunny are a loveable pair of German Shepherds who were transferred into our care heartwormpositive and in need of treatment.
Charles, a sweet older gentleman of a cat, was brought to our Healdsburg shelter as a stray. His jaw was significantly misaligned but our medical team determined it was due to an old injury and was not causing him any pain. When they tried to assess if he was able to eat, he quickly polished off an entire can of food — then politely requested more!
Dulce came to us as a recent mama and, despite being scared and shut down, we could tell she desperately wanted to connect and bond. She just didn’t know how… yet! We knew she’d be an incredible companion once trust was established with her adopter. Enter Katelyn, who changed Dulce’s name to Clover and changed her life for the better!
James, his adopter, tells us, “Charles immediately made himself at home — sitting on our laps and snuggling in bed. In spite of his jaw, he really enjoys eating and getting some cat treats. Since we knew he was basically an outside cat, I put up a plastic deer fence material around our deck. It keeps him enclosed but allows him to be safe and outside with us. After only 3-1/2 months with him, we feel like he’s been part of our lives forever. We love him dearly.”
Katelyn tells us, “Clover is amazing. I can tell she’s been through a lot, but she’s eager to trust and learn. She’s attached to me at the hip, hopping up and giving me kisses when I get home and greeting us with big full body wags. She’s already learned basic cues and walks so politely on leash. She loves to snuggle on the couch, play with her ducky toy and race around the yard. She makes me laugh throughout the day with her goofy personality. She completely has our hearts and we want to give her the life she deserves.”
Heartworm treatment involves several months of medications, a series of injections as well as exercise restrictions, which can be the most challenging part of the treatment for big, active dogs like Hef and Bunny! Luckily, their adoptive dad Allen was not deterred! He tells us, “Hef and Bunny wasted no time in working their way into my heart. It didn’t take long to realize that Bunny was the cuddle bug of the two, but I was surprised how quickly Hef became an absolute cuddle MONSTER! Heartworm treatment has been a tough road for these troopers, but we are having as much safe fun as possible!” “Thank you so much for allowing me to give these amazing, loving and beautiful dogs a forever home!”
N O R T H B AY P E T S
NEWS F R O M O U R H E A L D S B U R G S H E LT E R This year marks the 5th anniversary of the official opening of HSSC’s Healdsburg Shelter! And, until it’s safe to celebrate this milestone with you in person, we would like to show our gratitude by sharing accomplishments and highlights since being welcomed into the Healdsburg community. We’ve come a long way since operating out of a trailer at the pastoral 555 Westside Road location and it’s all thanks to the support of our compassionate donors, business sponsors and dedicated volunteers! A N I M A L S W E H AV E H E L P E D — TO G E T H E R !
1,451 animals adopted (4/14/2014 – 5/16/2021)
1,177 stray animals found safe haven (4/2014 – 5/16/2021) KEY MILESTONES
Preparedness Protocols: Our Healdsburg crew has diligently honed disaster response procedures to quickly evacuate our shelter animals to safety in the event of an emergency. These protocols were put to the test during the Kincade Fire in October 2019 and the Walbridge Fire in August 2020 when they safely and efficiently transported all shelter guests to our Santa Rosa campus. Kitty City: Opened in 2019, our innovative co-housing concept provides enrichment and a homey, living room environment for our more social feline friends — all while increasing the number of cats we are able to take in. Over 1,000 cats and kittens from our Healdsburg shelter have found new forever homes to date!
Public Dog Training Classes: Shortly after Direct Transfers: Led our official grand opening in 2016, we began by manager Karrie offering public dog training classes aimed at Stewart, a Registered building practical skills and strengthening Veterinary Technician, the human/animal bond at our Healdsburg our Healdsburg shelter shelter’s Community Room. Temporarily is now set up to perform paused due to the pandemic, our in-person direct animal intakes Handsome Healdsburger Chonk gets adopted! Healdsburg classes have now resumed! and provide basic Check out our offerings at humanesocietysoco.org/clever. medical care. This bypasses the need for many animals to Pet Pantry: Established in response to go through our Santa Rosa campus and gets them into the Tubbs Fire of 2017, our donationhomes faster! Our Healdsburg team is currently working supported free pet food pantry continues with four different rescues for these direct transfers! to be an important resource for Humane Education: We were all set to launch our youth Healdsburg pet owners when they need summer camps at the Healdsburg shelter in 2020… but the a little extra help caring for their pets. coronavirus pandemic had other plans. We are so excited Healdsburg Brick Project: Launched to finally welcome campers to Healdsburg this summer! in 2017, our brick project is paving The outpouring of response to this program has been the way to second chances for wonderful — all camps sessions are full! homeless animals. This ongoing To learn about our Healdsburg shelter activities fundraiser provides an opportunity to and how you can become involved with this commemorate a loved one, your beloved vibrant, compassionate community, please visit pet or your business with a specially engraved brick that humanesocietysoco.org/healdsburg-campus becomes a permanent feature of our beautiful shelter landscaping. For details, please visit polarengraving.com/ humanesocietyofsonomacountysantarosa. 8
N O R T H B AY P E T S
The Comforts of Home Dogs, like people, have preferences. Some don’t mind the shelter environment, while others find it a little overwhelming. Some dogs like to be around other animals, while others prefer to be the only animal in the house. Here at HSSC, we use progressive methods to identify and accommodate each animal’s individual preferences. Luckily, we have an amazing team of foster volunteers who help us care for the animals who don’t thrive in the shelter environment, providing all the comforts of home — until they can be adopted into a forever home. Ashley Armstrong, HSSC Foster Program Manager, explains, “When placing dogs in foster we are really looking for homes that will allow the dogs to relax and decompress. Often times dogs are stressed in the shelter and just need a quiet place to be, where a person will give them space. There’s a misconception that dogs need a foster home dedicated to hours of training. All most dogs need is a safe, quiet spot and a foster parent who can share their observations with us. We always need foster homes that don’t have other pets — dogs that do not like other dogs don’t do well in our shelter because they have to encounter other dogs multiple times a day.”
“Can I crash at your place?”
Foster parents are directly involved in saving animals’ lives. Being a foster parent allows HSSC to save many more lives than we could accommodate in the shelter alone and gives a great feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. Are you interested in becoming a foster parent? Please contact Katie McHugh at kmchugh@ humanesocietysoco.org or (707) 542-0882 x201
HSSC VETERINARY SERVICES
Community-Minded, Sustainability-Focused Now in its third year, our Community Veterinary Clinic is firmly positioned as a vital resource for local pet owners struggling to afford critical care for their pets. Since opening in 2019, the overwhelming demand for our services shows no signs of letting up! We’ve helped so many in our community weather the storms of economic uncertainty, especially during the pandemic. In 2020, our CVC team logged 1,872 appointments! In addition to treating and managing chronic conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, thyroid disorders, and skin and ear infections, Dr. Ada Norris and her crew perform crucial — and often lifesaving — surgeries. Dental procedures are in high demand — last year, our CVC performed 122 dental surgeries. Often, by the time a pet comes to us they’re suffering from such painful, advanced dental disease that they are unable to eat. Surgeries for pyometra (infected uterus), mass removals, foreign body removals and eye surgeries are also common. Each and every CVC patient has a special place in their family’s heart — and ours too! Here are just two recent friends we have provided care for:
Charlie is in good hands at the CVC.
This gorgeous orange tabby named Charlie has a special purpose in life; he is the emotional support kitty for a boy who was born with cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, Charlie developed a painful, life-threatening urethral blockage and required emergency treatment. It was the fourth time Charlie had become blocked in the year since he was adopted, and the clinic he was taken to recommended he have surgery called a perineal urethrostomy which could reduce the likelihood of future blockages. The cost for this surgery at a private clinic is quite high, so Charlie came to our CVC for surgery, which was performed the following day. Happily, Charlie recovered well and went back to the important job of taking care of his special person!
Bambi and her loving guardian.
Bambi Bruin is a sweet petite Chihuahua mix who was recently referred to our CVC by our friends at Compassion Without Borders. Her owner was extremely worried about her — she’d been having seizures for a number of years but he was not able to access veterinary care or specialized
treatment. Bambi was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy and our team started her on anti-convulsants. They are working closely with her owner to monitor her condition and get the seizures under control. “Luckily,” says Dr. Ada, “her owner is a very astute caretaker and keeps detailed logs and sends me regular updates. He signs his emails ‘Bambi, the Wonder Dog.’” “Dr. Ada and all the staff were warm and welcoming. They didn't just take care of my sweet dog, they were also emotionally supportive to me as well. They gave me hope that my baby would be OK and made sure we could afford care, as well as come back for the follow up appointments. I am so grateful for them!!!!” — JTD, CVC Client
Dr. Ada is known for putting clients at ease.
We need your help to sustain our crucial services in Sonoma County! Our clinic’s vital role in our community is partially funded by grants, including generous support from PetSmart Charities and DogsTrust USA, but we need your support to help us meet the demand. Your compassion will help sustain our CVC’s services for local pet owners experiencing financial hardship. Together, we can ensure every pet who needs us receives the medical care they require to stay healthy — and in the arms of the families who love them! To donate, please visit humanesocietysoco.org/ donate and select Community Veterinary Clinic from the drop-down menu. Thank you for your support!
Transforming Lives Through Unprecedented Times
OUR 2020 ANNUAL REPORT REFLECTS A YEAR OF UNPRECEDENTED CHALLENGES. IT ALSO CELEBRATES OUR AMAZING FAMILY OF DONORS, ADOPTERS, CLIENTS, VOLUNTEERS AND STAFF. AS THEY HAVE FOR THE PAST 90 YEARS, THEY ROSE TO MEET EVERY HURDLE WITH CREATIVITY, FLEXIBILITY,
Strays Transfers from other rescues (Sonoma County & Statewide)
Homeless Animal Rescue & Support Services S H E LT E R M E D I C I N E P R O G R A M
Shelter animals with medical needs Spay/neuter procedures
Value of medical services provided
FOSTER/FOSPICE CARE PROGRAM
Number of Fostered: Cats Kittens
Number of Fospice: animals (avg. age 11) Program volunteers
Small companion animals
Senior animals (7+)
Animals with chronic illness
B E H AV I O R S U P P O RT & T R A I N I N G
Shelter dogs supported Shelter cats supported
INNOVATION, RESILIENCE, PERSPECTIVE AND TEAM SPIRIT. WE’RE GATHERING EVERYTHING WE’VE LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE TO BUILD AN EVEN STRONGER, BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR THE ANIMALS. WE’RE SO GRATEFUL TO HAVE YOU BY OUR SIDE. THANK YOU.
Public & Community Programs H U M A N E E D U C AT I O N
Total number of volunteers
Total volunteer hours
Afternoon on the Farm
Equivalent number of full time employees
Animal Assisted Therapy Visits: Jan – Feb in person
approx. students served
approx. clients served
Read to a Dog
Equivalent full time employee compensation
424 27,293 13.2 $742,372
Total number of dogs trained
Dog training classes
Total number of puppies socialized
Puppy socialization classes
Mar – Dec virtual
School sites/ approx. students served
Academic community service students
LIVE RELEASE RATE Homed Animal Support & Safety Net Services COMMUNITY VETERINARY CLINIC (CVC)
L O W C O S T S P A Y/ N E U T E R C L I N I C
Pets cared for
Total number of feline surgeries
Dental procedures performed
Total cost of services provided Total paid by CVC clients
Total number of canine surgeries 517 A N I M A L B E H AV I O R S U P P O RT
% of costs covered by HSSC
% of costs covered by clients
F R E E P E T F O O D & S U P P LY P A N T R Y
Number of clients served
Cat private consultations
Dog post adoption consultations 40
Donations, events, bequests, endowments & grants $3,891,944 | 73.2%
INCOME total $5,319,723 | 100%
Program revenue $1,052,575 | 19.8% City contracts $253,800 | 4.7% Investments & rental income $99,718 | 1.9% Other revenue $21,686 | 0.4%
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2020 – 2021
Program expense $3,510,283 | 75.8%
EXPENSES total $4,635,008 | 100%
Chris Kittredge VICE Kristen Trisko
Development & fundraising $707,912 | 15.3%
S EC R E TA RY TREASURER
General & administrative
$411,752 | 8.9%
Johnny Drake Sophia Grossi Grace Lucero Steve Maass
GRANTS RECEIVED | 2019/2020 Fiscal Year C O M M U N I T Y F O U N D AT I O N S O N O M A C O U N T Y F I N L E Y F O U N D AT I O N P E T F I N D E R F O U N D AT I O N PETSMART CHARITIES T H E R E D D U C S F O U N D AT I O N THELMA DOELGER TRUST FOR ANIMALS
Marty Olhiser Robert Quail Dorothy Rodella Danielle Sandoval Kelly Stromgren Tim Wingard Vee Wright
HSSC VETERINARY SERVICES
Why Spay/Neuter Feels All Warm & Fuzzy We hope that flipping through our magazine makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Every sweet face you see staring back at you is a life YOU helped us save. That feels so good! Do you know what else makes us feel all warm and fuzzy? Knowing that countless animals will never need to enter
are proud to be a leading provider of these services in our community. Preventing the number of animals born to a life of neglect or abandonment not only eliminates needless suffering and uncertainty, it stems the flow of unplanned litters arriving at our local shelters and rescues each year. Our low-cost spay/neuter clinic is a critical component of our lifesaving efforts, giving us the capacity to reach more at-risk animals who need us. And we can’t do it without you! As a donor- and grant-funded program, your support enables us to provide subsidized services to families who wouldn’t be able to afford them elsewhere. A special thank you to the Joyce and Ted Picco Endowment Fund, Community Foundation Sonoma County, Kate Schaffner and… YOU! Together we are working toward a compassionate community where every animal is safe, wanted and loved. And that is something we can ALL feel good about!
Envisioning a community where every pet is safe, wanted and loved.
the shelter system in the first place! Last year, in spite of several Covid shutdowns and restrictions, we spayed/ neutered 1,258 pets through our low-cost clinic. We
Help us sustain our affordable spay/neuter services for local families! Please visit humanesocietysoco.org/ donate and select Spay/Neuter Fund from the drop-down menu!
N O R T H B AY P E T S
When Ruth Finley and a group of prominent Santa Rosans joined together to incorporate the Humane Society of Sonoma County in 1931, could they have imagined how long-lasting and far-reaching their legacy of love for the animals would be? This year, as we celebrate our 90th anniversary, we are inspired to reflect on our beginnings — and draw parallels between then and now.
E A R LY
A new decade saw HSSC starting to formalize partnerships and strengthen our networks to save more animals. By 2013, we signed a landmark adoption agreement with Sonoma County Animal Services which doubled the number of animals we took in from their facility and resulted in a dramatic decrease in communitywide euthanasia rates.
Our large-scale rescue of 64 Finnish Lapphunds from a hoarding situation in January 2014 gave us a glimpse of what happens when our community rallies together on behalf of animals. In addition to extensive dental procedures, medical care and intensive grooming to remove severe matting, this group of dogs required lengthy behavioral rehabilitation. Thanks to incredible support from our volunteers and donors, we were able to provide the treatment and care needed to help these dogs heal their physical and emotional trauma. And, best of all, we were able to adopt every one of them into loving homes! This same year, we were awarded the animal care contract for the City of Healdsburg, partnered with North Bay Animal Services. We operated out of modular offices at Bacchus Landing Way while we completed construction on our permanent facility.
With the support of our volunteers and donors, we were able take in homeless animals from Lake County Animal Control (LCAC) when they needed to make room for animals displaced by the Valley Fire in 2015. The event also forged a strong partnership between HSSC and LCAC, establishing a pipeline for transfer of animals from their care to ours whenever they become too crowded.
Thanks to compassionate support from Healdsburg’s tight-knit community of animal lovers, we were able to celebrate the grand opening of our Healdsburg shelter in 2016! We adopted nearly 300 animals out of our new facility in its first year. This year we also achieved a 96% lives saved rate for animals coming through our shelters.
The 2017 Tubbs Fire was another pivotal event further proving our community’s ability to come together as a force for good. Our relationships with other local animal care agencies and rescues were strengthened as we worked together to reunite lost animals with their families and to get veritable mountains of donated pet food and supplies to impacted pet owners and evacuation sites. In addition to triaging medical care for animals injured in the fires, we held free clinics to serve the urgent needs of pet owners displaced by the fires. By 2017, we had achieved a 98% lives saved rate — a marker that we have been able to meet every year since!
By 2018, investments we’d made in our infrastructure and improvements we’d made in our processes were starting to pay off. Coinciding with increased intake initiatives to help more animals from our community and beyond, we focused on improving pathways to adoption and decreasing length of stay to get animals into loving homes faster! By mid-2018, we saw a 23% increase in the number of animals we were taking in – many of whom were at-risk of euthanasia at overcrowded shelters.
N O R T H B AY P E T S
By 1931, Sonoma County was in the throes of the Great Depression. Home and farm foreclosures created extreme hardships for our county’s residents and resulted in a surge of homeless animals. Concerned about the welfare of these animals and lack of facilities to house them, Ruth Finley, Elizabeth Burbank, Frank A. Roth, Colleen Aslin and Mary Leddy pooled their resources to bring about positive change. They rallied members of the community to join the Humane Society — with annual dues of one dollar — to help them take over the role of the “pound” for the City of Santa Rosa. Similar to our founders, we find ourselves striving to care for animals through unprecedented times. Their legacy, along with the lessons we’ve learned in the past decade, have enabled us to adapt to meet the current moment and expand our role as a vital resource to the community.
The overwhelming demand we saw for advanced vet care from our community’s low-income pet guardians at our fire relief clinics was the impetus for establishing our Community Veterinary Clinic in 2019. This effort, coupled with our role as a leading provider of low-cost spay/neuter services, our donor-supported pet food pantry, behavior and training support and
other resources, was a key part of the safety net we created to keep animals with the families who love them. The emergency protocols we put into place during the Tubbs Fire helped us respond quickly and efficiently to keep animals safe during the fires (and a flood!) that impacted both our shelters in subsequent years. The partnerships we forged with other North Bay animal welfare agencies have also been critical to our emergency response capabilities. We know we can rely on them to take our animals into their care should we be under threat of evacuation, and they know we’ll be there to reciprocate in their times of need.
Holly featured on our 80th Anniversary cover.
Woven into HSSC’s story of resilience and transformation are the stories of thousands upon thousands of animals for whom we’ve cared along the way. They touch our hearts in such profound ways. We’re humbled to be their port in the storm until we can place them into loving homes.
Holly is just such an animal. If you’ve been a friend of HSSC for many years, you may remember her — she was the cover girl of our North Bay Pets Spring 2011 issue,
The COVID-19 crisis presented yet another opportunity for HSSC — side by side with our community — to demonstrate our resilience, creativity, innovation and determination to serve the animals who need us no matter what. Our CVC saw the demand for services skyrocket due to the economic hardships the pandemic created. The CVC team partnered with local care providers to conduct free clinics in areas of the county experiencing greatest need. From the early days of shelterin-place orders, we developed protocols to conduct adoptions online by appointment to keep our community safe and, happily,
placed over 1,500 pets into homes during this time! In spite of great collective hardships, we have seen many silver linings. You’ll see examples of these happy tales of undaunted resilience, love and compassion in this issue. Were our founders, like we are today, empowered to persevere thanks to their shared love of animals and an unwavering commitment to protect them? It’s inspiring to think that, even while living through tumultuous times, a circle of compassionate individuals drew upon inner reserves of courage and hope in order to establish this safe haven and set the standard for the humane treatment of our animals. Today, the lifesaving work we do is inextricably linked to the work of our organization’s founding mothers and fathers. Their gumption, vision and commitment surround each and every animal we provide with protection, compassion, love and care. So does your love and support. Thank you for being part of this amazing history — and thank you for helping us carry this legacy of love into the future.
celebrating our 80th anniversary! This special dog came to us from our partners at Sonoma County Animal Services, who took her in after she’d been found wandering the streets alone one cold December night, dragging her back legs behind her. Our Director of Shelter Medicine at the time, Dr. Christi Camblor, diagnosed Holly’s paralysis as the result of trauma, rather than genetics. She worked with a neurological consultant (who graciously donated her time) to create a rehabilitation plan for Holly. Staff and volunteers were trained to administer daily physical therapy and Holly received pro bono holistic treatments as well. Gradually, she was able to run again, aided by a wheeled cart, and soon she was able to stand and take a few steps on her own! Flash forward to 2021. HSSC Board President Kati Aho’s niece spots an adorable white dog walking her person at a local regional park. Completely enchanted C O N T P . 1 8 17
N O R T H B AY P E T S
A Salute to Our Humane Heroes! An excited young girl stood outside the doors of our Santa Rosa shelter clutching a Dora lunchbox, eager to show us what was inside. When we came out to greet her, she opened the mini lunchbox like a magician and showed us over $200 in one-, fiveand ten-dollar bills. This compassionate “Humane Hero” took the toys and books that she didn’t want anymore, sold them at a garage sale — and was now donating all the proceeds to the Humane Society of Sonoma County! She had become acquainted with HSSC as a younger child doing some volunteer work with her family. A couple of years later, her family adopted a cat from the shelter. Fast forward to this special day, as she carefully handed over her hard-earned money to help the animals. Humane Education has been proven to reduce violence towards animals and people, as it builds compassion for all living things. Classes, camps and school visits from Humane Educators harness children’s natural fascination with animals as a building block for empathy, compassion, respect and social and emotional learning. Introducing children to the importance of compassion toward animals early on sets them up for a lifetime of animal advocacy that extends to human and environmental compassion as well as advocacy.
Humane Education is essential to raising new generations of caring, empathetic adults who advocate for all living things. As this young, lunchbox-toting child walked away from the shelter with her family, we hoped her kindness would spread like wildflower seeds to every person lucky enough to cross her path.
Humane Heroes: The future of compassion.
For more information about our Humane Education classes, please visit humanesocietysoco.org/camps
Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities! Afterschool Classes * Saturday Workshops Winter Camps * Read to a Dog * Birthday Parties
Check out our website for the latest!
Holly, cont. by the joy this dog radiates, she strikes up a conversation. Dots are connected, phone numbers exchanged and soon we are speaking with Holly’s adopter, Wendy, for a heartwarming update! FROM P.17
Wendy says Holly is “all about the love!” When she brought her home 10 years ago, Holly was still making rehabilitative progress. Wendy would take her out for walks in a sling where Holly became an ambassador among the neighbors — breaking the ice and delivering smiles. Beyond her abundance of cuteness and charm, Holly inspires everyone she meets with her spirit. In 2015, she captivated hearts at St. Francis Winery’s annual Blessing of the Animals, winning the “Winery Dog of the Year” award. Holly continues to bring cheer to all who cross her path. Wendy states, “She has boundless love and does not know the meaning of social distancing!” At 13 years old, Holly now walks with just a slight wobble. “She worked so hard to get to where she is. She never gave up!” Wendy says Holly’s ability to persevere, coupled with her capacity for 18
joy and connection, have taught her so much in their years together. “Holly has been such a comfort during the pandemic. Even through floods and fire evacuations — no matter what’s going on — she just goes with the flow.” Wendy wraps up this happy tale with one simple statement: Holly going with the flow. “She gives everything meaning.” All of us here at HSSC could say the same about the animals we care for each day. They are the reason we are here. And giving them a chance to love and be loved on this journey is our greatest reward.
N O R T H B AY P E T S
Drop-Off Puppy Play: Progressing At a Pup’s Own Pace! A puppy’s early experiences are key to his or her healthy development. Knowing this, many well-intentioned puppy owners enroll their youngsters in puppy socialization groups, hoping that free interaction with other puppies will help them learn valuable social skills. Recent studies have shown, however, that this concept of puppy socialization — virtually a puppy free-for-all — can have some negative consequences. In some cases, pups can be exposed to overwhelming situations and bad influences for which they haven’t yet developed coping skills. These negative experiences are likely to outweigh the positive ones, resulting in unwanted behaviors or development issues. Having fun at Puppy Play. HSSC is pleased to offer a new kind of puppy play class based on the latest scientific research! Drop-off Puppy Play is a 4-week class in which small groups of pups, 4 months old or younger, learn together in a carefully monitored environment. Puppies engage in fun food games and
stimulating mental exercises and are introduced to novel sights, sounds, and surfaces. Each puppy progresses at his or her own pace. They interact with people and with other pups when appropriate, always under the watchful eyes of our skilled staff, who ensure the pups remain within their comfort zones . Instructors meet with puppy owners after each class to provide feedback about their pup’s progress and to suggest things they can do at home to support healthy development. It’s a win for both puppy and owner on their journey to nurturing a well-behaved and happy fourlegged family member. To learn more about our Academy of Dog Drop-Off Puppy Play and other dog training classes, please visit humanesocietysoco.org/clever
Thankful staffers in front of our new generator!
That’s the POWER of LOVE! Power shutoffs in recent years have shown us we need a backup power source to maintain operations and keep our animals safe. With generous funding from the Cohn Charitable Foundation and the Redducs Foundation, we kicked off a fundraising campaign to purchase a new emergency generator. And thanks to compassionate donors like YOU, and the support of David & Mary Love and their amazing $25,000 match challenge, we were able to reach our fundraising goal and purchase our new generator! This means we will have the power we need to keep our animals safe during emergencies and disasters. We couldn’t have done this without YOU.
In partnership with ARS Roofing, help us replace the roof on our Santa Rosa shelter!
2020 Founder’s LEADERSHIP CIRCLE
Richard Bastoni and Darla Evans, Bastoni-Evans Foundation
Alan Baker and Serena Lourie, Cartograph Wines James and Claudette Barnes Debra Bottoms and Jose Contreras and Dale Bottoms, 7M Ranch
Kim and John Lloyd, Big John’s Market Warren Calvert Mike Campbell, Paradise Pet Resort
Drew and Ellen Bradley
Dogwood Animal Rescue Project, Inc.
Catherine and Scott Doty
Laurel and Dan Grow
Julia L. Grant
Chuck and Donna Hussey
Barbara Grasseschi and Tony Crabb, Puma Springs Winery
Joseph B. Gould Foundation
Graton Resort & Casino
Christine Kasulka and Diane McCarthy
Lisa and Léo LaPorte, TWiT.tv David and Mary Love Grace Lucero and Bonnie Kline, The Lucero Group
Bruce P. Johnson Kaufman Family Foundation at Community Financial Services Group Kendall-Jackson Winery
Wayne and Ellen Krebs
Betty Ann Sutton, Mr. Ryder & Co.
Dale Martin, Austin Creek Orchids
Mark Quattrocchi and Tina M. Kelly
Dan and Debbie Mason
Elizabeth Salamone and Tony Pisacane
Kate Schaffner Helen Straessle The Robert and Shirley Harris Family Foundation Hovanes and Mary Torosian Joan C. Whelchel, M.D. Barbara Wolfe
Evelyn Mitchell and Tom O’Hair Andrea Lea Noble Bandy Philip E. & Nancy B. Beekman Foundation Debra Poulnot Karen J. Rose Roth Armstrong Hayes Foundation Bob Schwartz St. Francis Winery The Christensen Family Foundation
Society Gifts MEDALLION CIRCLE
Susan and Dick Abraham
Norman and Roselee Dunlavy
Darlene and Ronald Adams
Jerry and Terrasa Elliott
Kati A. Aho
Lori Alexander-Winkler and Clay Winkler Kathleen L. Engler
Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane
Lorraine Bazan and Chris Stover
Carole and David Bliese
Gregory S. Arent, M.D.
Lynn and James Fitzwater
Darlene F. Brazil
Tom and Julie Atwood
Bank of America
William Edward Cannon
David Gavrich and Chris Hiller
Carol and Andrew M. Carciere
Cheryl Fessenden and Jo Fessenden, Barber Insurance Agency Inc.
Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing
John and Andrea Barella Barbara and Steven L. Barney
Ian Grossman and Ellen Johnson
Doug Johnson, Discovery Office Systems
Susan B. Dixon
Trudy and William Drypolcher David and Robin Elie
Michelle Barry Jennifer Baus Lee Berry
Susan Gilliland Bonnie Gupta Eric Guziejka Greg Hari Grace and Tracy Harris Gary Heck
Lynn and Donna Best
The Heinemann-Kueffner Fund of Marin Community Foundation
Judy and Hugh M. Black
Liz and Fred Flynn
Lawrence Blatt, The Blatt Family Foundation
Carol Price, Hilltop Foundation
Pat and Cindy Gallaher
Sal and Treena Bonilla
Linda and Mark Brewer
Allen and Linda A. Jackson
Steve and Marcia Ellis Steve and Mary Beth Falk Suzanne Farver and Clint Van Zee
Dean Gross and H. C. “Clay” Nesbitt James Hartzberg David Henderson Robb and Victoria Hunt Jo-Ann L. Knight Thom and Marge Limbert Montecito Heights Health Club and Spa / The Studios Ridge and Carol Muller Cindy Myers Diana and Mike Prall Bill and Mary-Louise Reinking Jane Rosenberg and Steven Deas Pete Schneider Tom Sharp
Michele Brouqua Kerry and Cheryl Brown Leslie Bruner-Hurley and Glen Hurley Ronald Buhlmann Bonnie Burchill John and Yvonne Cardinale Judy Chong Sandy and John Chute Clif Bar Family Foundation Victoria D. Cohen Glenn Coxe Margaret Crandall Ben Cushman and George Tuttle Dorian Davis
Stephen and Karen A. Strain
Sutter Health Plus, honoring Dr. Peter Valenzuela
Peggy DelCarlo Kristina Derkos
Carol Toth and Donna L. Wheeler
Victoria and Bryan A. Dettman
Karen and Victor Trione
VCA Charities Duke and Terri Yolo
Susan M. Hoeschler Tom and Leanna Jackson Stanley and Joni Jacobs Trudy and Rod Jamieson Candy and Sam Jones John Jordan Judith L. Jordan Ruth and Robert Karlsrud Barb Katona and Paul C. Simpson, Jr. Francis and Arlene Keesling James V. Kelly Sydney and Dave Kimball Lynn M. King Chris and Bob Kittredge Suzanne C. Knecht Arlene Kraushaar Deb Kravitz
Dry Creek Rancheria 21
2020 Founder’s Society Gifts, cont. SUSTAINING CIRCLE, cont. Lagunitas Brewing Company
Parkpoint Health Clubs
David and Donna Lee
The Patterson Hernandez Charitable Fund
Bill Pedersen Petfinder Foundation
Doug and Ame Van Dyke, E.R. Sawyer Jewelers
Kirk and Pat Veale
Barbara Lynch Samarati and Tom Samarati
Lawrence Prager and Linda Myszak
Dr. Katherine Vickery
John and Susan Prouty
David Waisbein and Joan Tabb Waisbein
Susan S. Malin
Quality Stainless Tanks
Terri and Gordon Martin, Sonoma Millworks
Pete and Terri Kight, Quivira Winery
Gale L. Reeder
John Lee LEMO USA The Lohrer Family Fund
Cinda Mast-Gough and Michael Gough Peggy Matsuda Doris A. Maxwell Stephanie McAllister and Roger Jungerman McDonald Family Fund Jacqueline McGhee Ernest McNabb Diane and Bob J. Melder Gloria Menchini Ryan Merman Margarete Merry Hiroko Mihara Melissa and David Codding, Montgomery Village Shopping Center Neil T. Myntti Brian and Lynn Neary Kathie Neese Friends of Don Nelson New World Library Joel Newell, Digital Prints & Imaging / SR Blueprint Service
Trudy Rangaves Merle Reuser Rita Morgan Charitable Foundation Mark and Demae Rubins Nancy Hair, Ruth E. Silverman Animal Welfare Fund Lisette Schuck Judy and Craig Schulz Bob Scott and Tim McDonald Ann Sebastian Donna and Edward Seghesio Kimberly Sethavanish Susan and Larry Seymour David and Karen Shacklett Scott and Denise Silveira, Silveira Buick-GMC Carolyn and William Small Ellen and Richard R. Soule Ruth Souroujon Marjorie and Eugene Stambaugh Jim and Judy Stambolis Mike Starkey Kathryn Stebner and Ellen Callaway
James R. Stewart
Terry Norona and Paul Smick
Monty and Rob Sullivan
Robert and Dana L. Norton
Howard and Pam Nurse
Amy and Daniel F. Tocchini
Kerith and Brian Overstreet Parkpoint Health Club Healdsburg
Tracey Financial Group Trupanion
Mark and Sandy Walheim Daniel Walsh and Tracey Buck-Walsh Shirley and Bill Ward John Weinstein and Heidi Stewart Jane and Nelson Weller Wendy and Drew Welling Jeff and Jill Wesselkamper Linda Burton White Teresa and Chris Williams, Teresa Williams Properties Willow Creek Wealth Management Debbie Yeakey, Cellularworld Inc. Carola and Arthur Young Marlon and Tara Young Warren and Sandra Yuers Rachel and Alexander Zanetti Gordon Zlot Alice Zumba
N O R T H B AY P E T S
Creativity Inspired by Crisis BY KAT I E M C H U G H , VO LU N T E E R S E R VI C E S CO O R D I N ATO R
It seems like most conversations this past year have been bracketed by phrases like “during the pandemic,” “what a year” and perhaps a snarky, “thanks a lot, Covid.” Although part of me never wants to hear those phrases again, they’re a clear indication of what we’ve all been going through. I started as HSSC's Volunteer Services Coordinator at the beginning of the pandemic, so my experience coordinating volunteers has been uniquely Covid-ish. It has required an
Volunteer Terry Norona picks up a pet food pantry donation.
extensive amount of creativity to ensure that HSSC staff and animals get the volunteer support they need, while adhering to safety protocols and capacity limits. Even more than that, I’ve had to dig deep to continue engaging our volunteers who haven’t been able to come to the shelter. Together with staff, we created a slew of offsite opportunities to help. We formed a donation box team to collect and replace our full donation boxes at locations throughout the county. We’ve had volunteers helping update our foster database; running food drives for our Pet Pantry; helping with Spanish translations; monitoring our social media platforms after hours; helping our Spay/Neuter and Community Veterinary Clinics catch up on call-back lists; making treats and enrichment toys; transporting animals between our shelters (and farther afield); and even making freshly cooked chicken weekly for our “picky eaters!” As things start to look up, we’re excited to have more volunteers back at the shelter and I’m thrilled we’ve been able to implement so many new roles to support the animals. These are roles that may not have been imagined without Covid restrictions. So, one more time — without sarcasm — Thanks, Covid!
OCTOBER 2020 – APRIL 2021
BETTY LEE CHEANEY 1993 TRUST HONEY DUDLEY EVERETT H. GREGORY 1995 TRUST R O N A L D F. H O O V E R T R U S T E S TAT E O F L E N A J A M E S DEANNA JIMOSSE A R LY N P I T T L E R J O A N R O S S A N D FA M I LY HAROLD GEORGE SILLERY AND ROSEMARIE BEITZER SILLERY REVOCABLE TRUST THE VIRGINIA M. TERZIAN REVOCABLE TRUST W I L L I A M VA N H A A F T E N A N D FA M I LY ROSE L. VIVIANI TRUST E S TAT E O F R O B E R T A L L E N WAT S O N
Humane Society of Sonoma County 5345 Hwy 12 West Santa Rosa, CA 95407
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5345 Hwy 12 West | Santa Rosa, CA 95407 | 707.542.0882 555 Westside Road | Healdsburg, CA 95448 | 707.431.3386 www.HumaneSocietySoCo.org The Humane Society of Sonoma County does not receive funding from national organizations such as HSUS or ASPCA. We depend on donations from our local community. North Bay Pets is a publication of the Humane Society of Sonoma County. © 2021 | All rights reserved.